Our Strange Addiction

Adance of “glorious and strange beauty” took place in a wintry garden in the south of England on January 6, 1614. Funded and planned by the philosopher Francis Bacon, the performance of what came to be called the Masque of Flowers was an elaborate wedding present for two young nobles. But it was also a dramatization of a new habit that had already begun to change the world. On that wintry wedding day in 1614, Francis Bacon’s guest of honor was a gigantic dancing tobacco pipe.

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